Monday, March 14, 2011
Genealogy and Journals for Inspiration
So, this might be kind of a cheesy idea, but have you ever done research into your own family history for story ideas? This can be extremely difficult in some cases, but with all the new internet resources these days its getting a bit easier. And some are lucky enough to have journals from great-grandparents and such. In fact, if you are one of those lucky ones, those journals could be an invaluable resource.
Ask whoever is available to you, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, if they have journals or stories they would be willing to share. Get a recorder and let them talk. You never know what gems you will find. Stories from their own lives or stories they've heard from other ancestors could be fantastic character/story fodder.
And like I said, the internet is a fantastic resource. Sites like Ancestry.com and FamilyLink.com have incredible compilations of information. Take advantage of it. You don't even have to spend much time doing it, but it could be very worthwhile just to see what you can find.
The stories you find can be used in a lot of ways, too. You can use them directly or use the conflicts and place them in a modern setting. You can even use your own journal for inspiration, which is one reason I recommend keeping a journal.
I feel a bit hypocritical here, just because I definitely am not great at keeping my own advice in this regard, but I hope to do better and I do think it can be helpful. So happy writing and happy hunting :)